Barbara Frei, 81, wife of the late John Frei of Hyde Park, passed away Monday, January 11 in Aarau, Switzerland. Born April 17th, 1939 in Switzerland, she was the daughter of Rudolph and Gertrud Schmid.
Barbara earned certificates in nursing and teaching at the University Hospital in Zurich. She worked internationally across Europe and in South America. In 1965 she moved to Chicago to work at what is now Northwestern Hospital, and lived next to the John Hancock tower as it was being built.
Barbara met her husband John at the Swiss Benevolent Society of Chicago. They were married in Switzerland in 1972 and moved to Hyde Park shortly after. Their son Walter was born in 1974.
She was a member of the American Recorder Society and organized the Joint PTA music program that gave music lessons in local elementary schools. In 1986, Barbara went on to get a Bachelors and Masters in Gerontology, and worked as a LCSW for many years. She also volunteered at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club Adult Day Center and the Community Centers.
She traveled extensively across North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Japan, both with family and friends and on her own. She was an avid mountain hiker and was always making new friends along the way.
In 2019, after her husband’s death, she moved back home to Switzerland to be near friends, family, and her beloved mountains.
She is survived by her son Walter and his wife Laura, and two grandchildren, Evalina and Alexander. She is also survived by her siblings Christoph and wife Maxine, Regine and husband Huldrych, and Susanna, 4 nephews, 1 niece, 13 great-nephews and nieces.
There is no service planned at this time. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Chicago Hyde Park Village, 5500 S. Woodlawn, Chicago, IL 60637.